The Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity With Nature
How can we help poorer countries become richer without harming the planet? Is there a way of reconciling prosperity with nature? World-renowned economist Paul Collier offers smart, surprising and above all realistic answers to this dilemma. Steering a path between the desires of unchecked profiteering and the romantic views of environmentalists, he explores creative ways to deal with poverty, overpopulation and climate change -showing that the solutions needn't cost the earth. The book proposes a radical rethinking of international policies and uniquely, offers real solutions backed up by real data from research Collier has spearheaded
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
No footnotes and references only to the author's own writings! A popular account of his opinions, dosed with green and resting on his dicey concept of the 'bottom billion'. A thought-provoking but not a thoughtful book. An easy rapid read that leaves you wondering where you missed the insight into “how to solve the world’s problems”. This economist wants to cut carbon emissions and to stop burning coal but he is not otherwise concerned about ecosystem exploitation and the loss of biodiversity. These externalities associated with the plunder of natural resources are not even considered. There are fine arguments about how resource –rich, low-income countries should control the geological survey, auction off the right to mine and determine the most prudent use of revenues from non-renewable resources. But then poor governance gets in the way. So what is needed is a natural resource charter and transparency where extractive industry companies and countries reveal all the money flows. All this is well underway. Only add on large scale agriculture, GM technology and a ban on biofuel from maize and that pretty much solves it all. Collier refers approvingly to Fairfield Osborn, the long time head of the New York Zoo and earlier a Wall Street executive with mining and oil links. Osborn wrote a book in 1948 called “Our Plundered Planet” which “sought to awaken ordinary citizens to the unsustainable exploitation of nature”. Osborn worried about the waste and destruction of forests, watershed and animals (as well as minerals) but, unlike the unfortunate Prince Charles, he somehow escapes Collier’s censure as a “romantic environmentalist”. Osborn’s solution to the world’s problems in what Collier describes as a “founding text of modern environmentalism” was birth control. No comment made on this!